The Hippocratic Oath:
The National Medical Commission (NMC), the regulator for medical education and practices that replaced the Medical Council of India in 2020, has suggested to medical colleges that the traditional Hippocratic Oath should be replaced by a “Charak Shapath”.
- The Hippocratic Oath is attributed to Hippocrates of the island of Kos, a Greek physician of the classical period (4th-5th centuries BC, until the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC).
- Basically, the Hippocratic Oath is a charter of ethical principles that physicians over the ages have sworn to uphold in the practice of their profession.
- Modern codes of medical ethics such as those formulated by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the British Medical Association (BMA) are broadly rooted in the Hippocratic Oath.
- The Corpus Hippocraticum is a collection of 70 books on medicine; however, most scholars agree that the Hippocratic Oath was probably not the work of the individual identified as the historical Hippocrates, the “father of modern medicine”.
- Like several other sages mentioned in the literature of ancient India, the historicity of Charaka is uncertain, and the compendium of medicine that carries his name is unlikely to have been the work of a single individual.
- The Charak Samhita is a medical pharmacopoeia and collection of commentaries and discussions on medical practices that is dated to the 1st-2nd centuries AD.
- Along with the compendium of Susruta (c. 4th century AD), which is about surgery, the Charak Samhita is considered the foundational text of ancient Indian medicine.